Events

Parts Known & Unknown: Exploring the Borders of Truth, Reconciliation and Redress

Every Child Matters


Parts Known & Unknown:  Exploring the Borders of Truth, Reconciliation and Redress

W. Kamau Bell joined Anthony Bourdain in Kenya in what was to be the final season of the CNN series, Parts Unknown. Kamau has roots in Kenya and this was his first time travelling to the motherlands of his people, and he stated something that I thought was interesting. He said something like, “coming to Kenya, you know, it’s nice to have a diasporic-kind-of-connection, even though I did not come from Kenya, but I have roots in Kenya, and even if that frame that the connection was built through was colonialism.”

It made me think about what it would be like for someone like myself to travel to the ancestral homes of my people. Well, this is my home. Certainly, more than it is your home, and in this era of truth and reconciliation, it is now both my home as much as it is your home. I come from no other place in the world than from right here, diitiidʔaaʔtx̣ – Ditidaht, we are the Nuuchahnulth and the seas for miles of shoreline and all of the land on the western side of our Vancouver Island home, from Point No Point in the south to Brooks Peninsula in the north, is Nuuchahnulth territory, our haahuulthii.

In the conclusion of that episode with W. Kamau Bell in Parts Unknown, Tony narrates an epilogue, “Who gets to tell the stories? This is a question asked often. The answer in this case, for better or for worse, is I do, at least this time out. I do my best, I look, I listen, but in the end, I know it’s my story. Not Kamau’s, not Kenya’s, or Kenyans’. Those stories are yet to be heard.”

It’s important for colonial settlers, and for new settlers, to Canada to consider who you are and where you come from, and what it means to live in British Columbia, and to think about your own frame of reference as being truly Canadian, even if that frame that the connection was built through was colonialism. The context, the narrative, the history, the good or bad of it, the story of what it means to be Canadian is apart and a part of your individual and shared story as a British Columbian, as a Canadian, as an unwelcomed or welcomed colonial settler, and as a new settler. The stories that have yet to be heard, and are now starting in some ways to be told, is our story, my story, of what it means to be diitiidʔaaʔtx̣, to be Nuuchahnulth, to be First Nations, to be Indigenous, and to also be Canadian in this country and in this province.

The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is a unique opportunity to bridge the divide of our individual and collective stories, our distinct and shared experiences, and our united effort to right and write a new history chaptered with the stories of a sincere determination to tell the truths of the past, to reaffirm and renew our commitments to reconcile all things oppressive, racist and insufferable, and to create an honest and just redress for all Indigenous – First Nations, Inuit, Métis – peoples. It would be momentous to proclaim someday that we all come from a country in which the frame that the connection was built through was equality, acceptance and compassion.

It’s fair to ask, “What will you do between October 1st, 2022 and September 29th, 2023, to recognize your part in this history, this story, and what will you actively do to shift the narrative?” We’re at an urgent time in our country’s history to thoughtfully and actively explore all parts known and unknown in our ongoing journey to come to terms with each other and with our past, and with the present day. I look forward to the work ahead this year, and I’ll look forward to us hearing each other’s stories next year and in the many years to come.

With Respect,

Derek Thompson – Thlaapkiituup
Indigenous Initiatives Advisor, Office of Respectful Environments, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion


Continue Learning

“The time to make things happen is now. The time to seek out our individual and shared power is now.”

Read the Message from the Indigenous Initiatives Advisor, Derek Thompson – Thlaapkiituuphere

Discover REDI’s Indigenous-Specific Resources here

Welcome to REDI

Beyond Representation: Celebrating Black Excellence in BC Healthcare

Thank you for joining Vancouver Coastal Health and Faculty of Medicine’s Office of Respectful Environment, Diversity, and Inclusion on Wednesday, February 28th, 2024, from 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm (PST) for “Beyond Representation: Celebrating Black Excellence in BC Healthcare.” In this session we learned about and celebrated the important contributions made by Black professionals in BC healthcare. The panel featured Aisha Sallad, UBC Midwifery Student Manager; Barbara Sutherland, Director of VCH Coastal and Acute Services; Dr. Oluseyi Malomo, Staff Psychiatrist at Fraser Health and Clinical Instructor at UBC; and Dr. Taru Manyanga, Assistant Professor in the Division of Medical Sciences at UNBC. The panel was moderated by Madison Tardif, REDI Equity Advisor at UBC, and Oluwaseun Ajaja, Regional Manager for Anti-Racism at VCH. During this session, the panelists shared their experiences navigating the healthcare work environment and emphasize the importance of recognizing and promoting Black excellence in health care.

Celebrating Black Excellence in BC Healthcare


Speaker bios

Aisha Sallad

Aisha Sallad, Midwifery Student Manager, UBC

Aisha is the Student Manager for the UBC Midwifery program. Aisha is responsible for overseeing all aspects of student recruitment, advising, educational program planning, and student retention initiatives for two UBC Midwifery programs – the 4-year undergraduate Midwifery program and the Internationally Educated Midwives Bridging Program (IEMBP).

Barbara Sutherland – Director, Coastal and Acute Services, VCH

Barbara Sutherland, Director, Coastal and Acute Services, VCH

Barb Sutherland is a registered nurse with over 25 years of experience providing frontline care to those most in need. She served as the Director of Operations at Royal Columbian Hospital and recently came out of retirement to support Lions Gate Hospital as Interim Director of Coastal and Acute Services. Barb is a certified leadership coach with extensive experience supporting leaders in gaining competence and confidence in their roles.

Dr. Oluseyi Malomo – Physician; Clinical Instructor, UBC

Dr. Oluseyi Malomo, Staff Psychiatrist, Fraser Health;
Clinical Instructor, UBC

Dr. Oluseyi Malomo is a Staff Psychiatrist at Fraser Health and Clinical Instructor at UBC. In addition to being licensed to practice in Canada, he is a Member of the Royal College of Psychiatrist in the UK.

Dr. Taru Manyanga, Assistant Professor, Division of Medical Sciences, University of Northern British Columbia

Dr. Taru Manyanga, Assistant Professor, Division of Medical Sciences, University of Northern British Columbia

Dr. Taru Manyanga is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Medical Sciences at the University of Northern British Columbia. He is affiliated with the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of British Columbia. Taru obtained his entry-to-practice physical therapy degree from the University of Manitoba and completed a PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Ottawa. Taru is a registered physical therapist who has practiced physical therapy in four provinces (Manitoba, Alberta, Ontario, BC) and one territory (Yukon). He occasionally provides physical therapy services in rural First Nations communities in northern British Columbia.

Taru’s research applies an equity lens in examining and promoting healthy lifestyle behaviors (e.g., physical activity, sleep, less screen time), particularly among rural and underserved populations throughout the life course. Taru is a member of several clinical and research organizations where he is actively involved in projects advancing physical therapy and promoting healthy lifestyles for overall health and wellbeing.


Moderators

Madison Tardif

Madison Tardif, Equity Advisor, REDI

Madison Tardif is an Equity Advisor at the Office of Respectful Environments, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (REDI) within the Faculty of Medicine. In her capacity at REDI, she offers strategic guidance and supports capacity-building for department heads, faculty, staff, and students who are dedicated to implementing decolonization, anti-racism, and inclusive practices.

Oluwaseun Ajaja

Oluwaseun Ajaja, Regional Manager for Anti-Racism, VCH

Oluwaseun, the inaugural Regional Manager for Anti-Racism at Vancouver Coastal Health, is a seasoned human rights lawyer with a wealth of experience in public policy, intergovernmental affairs and conflict resolution.


Topic: Beyond Representation: Celebrating Black Excellence in BC Healthcare

Date: Wednesday, February 28th, 2024

Time: 12:00 – 1:30 pm PST

Location: Livestream


EIO Employment Equity Advisor Pilot Program: Call for Participants

REDI’s Black Authors Book List

REDI’s Black Authors Book List

Celebrate the voices and stories of Black authors by exploring our curated book list. These works offer profound insights into the Black experience and its impact on history, culture, and society. Deepen your understanding of racial injustice and resilience, and join us in honoring the legacy of Black writers and their contributions to literature and beyond.


Support learners and colleagues during the Holy Month of Ramadan

Ramdan Kareem

Written by Catalina Parra

Many Muslim staff, learners and faculty will be observing Ramadan which entails fasting, prayer self- reflection, spiritual cleansing, community building, and self-improvement. Those taking part in Ramadan have two meals per day. One before the sun rises Suhoor, and iftar which is a fast-breaking evening meal. Prayers take place five times per day ending with Isha’ (the last prayer of the day).  Following the Isha’ some may attend the long prayer Tarweeh bringing the community together in the mosque after the Iftar.

As noted by Nour Youssef in an interview to the Ubyssey, “Ramadan gives me some much needed time to sit with myself and reflect on how I spend my time, and the things I value the most. By giving up things that usually seem so essential to us – food and water being the biggest – we are encouraged to replace the time we used to spend on these things with things that are more beneficial to our inner spiritual state. Things that make us better family members, better friends, better worshippers and better humans.” 


How to support friends/colleagues observing Ramadan?

  • Extend Ramadan greetings such as: Ramadan/Ramzan Mubarak or Ramadan Kareem. Arabic sayings that translate to blessed Ramadan and generous Ramadan. Your friends/colleagues will appreciate your thoughtfulness. 
  • The end of the month is marked by the new moon and Eid- al – Fitr is celebrated in order to show gratitude for the previous month of reflection. Common greetings are Eid Mubarak and Eid Sa’id which translates to Blessed Eid and Happy Eid.
  • Do not be apologetic for eating in front of your friend/colleague while they are fasting. To be more inclusive, avoid organizing events focusing on food during this time of the year (e.g. “lunch and learns” or “coffee hours”).
  • If you supervise self-identified Muslim staff, be flexible and mindful when scheduling for time off, events and meetings.  Consider flex time options. 
  • During fasting, Muslims are not allowed to drink water. Be thoughtful of this when scheduling long presentations or meetings.  
  • Educate yourself and raise awareness in order to create a more inclusive working/learning environment.
  • Do not assume every Muslim is fasting. If one of your Muslim colleagues/friends is not fasting it might be due to illness, pregnancy, breastfeeding, amongst other reasons. Abstain from asking why.  
  • Do not treat fasting as suffering. Many Muslims look forward to Ramadan; it is a sacred and deeply personal practice. 

Ramadan Mubarak!


Sources


Polarization

Polarization

According to Courageous Dialogues: Moving Beyond Polarization project, “Polarization is a complex social dynamic that occurs when an issue that involves many different people, concerns and opinions is reduced to two opposing sides— ‘for or against’ or ‘us vs them.’ It goes well beyond ordinary disagreement. In fact, it can lead us to avoid debate or consideration of others’ ideas completely. When we believe that we alone hold the truth, we may see differences of opinion, values and beliefs as threatening and intolerable. These dynamics disrupt effective patterns of home and workplace communication. Instead of working with difference and making conflict constructive, we allow polarization to create painful divisions that are hard to overcome.” We encourage you to learn more about strategies to overcoming polarization in the workplace. 

The Association of Administrative and Professional Staff (AAPS) is hosting two professional development sessions on Polarity Management, entitled “Generational Differences to Creating a Culture of Belonging.” One session is for AAPS Managers and will be held on Friday, February 23, 2024, from 10 am to 12 pm. The other session is for AAPS Professionals and will take place on Friday, March 1, 2024, from 10 am to 12 pm. You can also register to receive the recording.  Those sessions are only open to AAPS staff members.

Gender-affirming Care in Action: Stories and Insights from the Frontline

Join us virtually on Wednesday, April 3rd, 2024 from 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm (PST), for “Gender-affirming Care in Action: Stories and Insights from the Frontline.” In this session, meet a diverse panel of healthcare professionals and individuals with transgender lived experiences. Through their stories and expertise, you will gain valuable insights into the healthcare needs of transgender and gender-diverse individuals and expand your understanding of how to deliver compassionate and high-quality care to all your patients.

Gender-affirming Care in Action: Stories and Insights from the Frontline

Registrants receive a link to the webcast upon registration.


Speaker bios

Dr. A.J. Lowik (They/ Them)

Dr. A.J. Lowik (They/ Them)

Dr. A.J. Lowik is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Centre for Gender and Sexual Health Equity, part of UBC’s Faculty of Medicine. Their work focuses on the reproductive lives and health of trans people, including in the areas of menstruation, abortion, lactation, perinatal care, and fertility. They lead a Research Equity Toolkit project called “Gender & Sex in Methods and Measurement,” focused on providing researchers with the tools to design research that mobilizes gender and sex concepts accurately, precisely and inclusively. Dr. Lowik is the President of the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada, a member of the BC Period Poverty Task Force, and part of a BC Law Institute Project Committee reviewing Part 3 of the Family Law Act. They work with researchers, healthcare providers, social service organizations, yoga studios, law and policymakers, supporting the development of gender-affirming and trans-inclusive policies and practices.

Ari Para (They/Them)

Ari Para (They/Them)

Ari is a queer non-binary second generation Eelam Tamil (Sri-Lankan Tamil) Canadian. They consider themselves an artivist, finding ways to combine their love for art with their love for social justice and education. They are an ESL teacher, Teaching Assistant, theatre artist, jewelry maker, creative writer, and avid reader. Ari completed an undergraduate degree in Business Communications at Brock University while completing minors in Dramatic Arts & Women and Gender Studies. During their time in St. Catharines, Ari got involved with different EDI social justice organizations such as the Brock Student Justice Centre and OPIRG-Brock. Ari is currently completing their PhD in Education at York University after completing their MA in Education at York University. Ari has recently self-published two books, called DEAR BODY, and displaced., both exploring the intersectionality of their queer and cultural identities. Ari is currently focusing their doctoral research on their QTBIPOC Disabled community, exploring post-secondary education experiences while reimagining more inclusive classrooms.

Dr. Dan Metzger (He/Him)

Dr. Dan Metzger is a Pediatric Endocrinologist at BC Children’s Hospital and a Clinical Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at UBC. Dr. Metzger and his team, in conjunction with mental-health partners in the community and onsite, have been seeing trans and gender-diverse youth since 1998. They were the first clinic in Canada and the second in North America to offer gender-affirming medical treatments for this population, and they have now served over 1000 youth in their clinic. Most recently, Dr. Metzger was a co-author on the Canadian Paediatric Society’s position statement on affirming care for trans and gender-diverse youth.


Dr. Ingrid Cosio (She/Her)

Dr. Ingrid Cosio (She/Her)

Ingrid has been a family physician in Prince George for 20 years. She is a primary preceptor for the Prince George Family Practice Residency program and recently completed a 10-year appointment as the Behavioral Medicine faculty lead at this UBC site. She is the Physician Lead for the Northern Gender Clinic, which provides gender-affirming care to BC’s Northerners. She co-leads a local advocacy group called Physicians for Diversity & Inclusion.


Jae Dela Cruz (He/Him/His)

Jae Dela Cruz (He/Him/His)

Jae is a 30 year old Bisexual, Polyamorous, Trans Man of Filipino & Ethiopian descent residing in Toronto, Ontario.  

An avid member of the Toronto Trans community, Jae has spoken on multiple panels for Pride Toronto, & the 519 2SLGBTQ+ community centre. He has also done work for other Trans & Queer initiatives across the city, spanning back to 2015. 


Description

Join a diverse panel of healthcare professionals and individuals with transgender lived experiences. From physicians to advocacy group leaders, each brings a unique perspective on the challenges and successes encountered in supporting transgender health. Panelists will highlight changes in practices and perspectives that have positively impacted transgender healthcare delivery. They will explore what constitutes a caring, supportive, and inclusive environment for transgender patients, as well as the grounding principles for gender-affirming care. Through their stories and expertise, you will gain valuable insights into the healthcare needs of transgender and gender-diverse individuals and expand your understanding of how to deliver compassionate and high-quality care to all your patients.


Topic: Gender-affirming Care in Action: Stories and Insights from the Frontline

Date: Wednesday, April 3rd, 2024

Time: 12:00 – 1:30 pm PST

Location: Livestream


What will I Learn?

You will gain valuable insights about the healthcare needs of transgender and gender-diverse individuals and expand your understanding of how to deliver compassionate and high-quality care to all your patients.

Our Shared Vision: Leading Transformative Change in Health for BC First Nations

Thank you for joining us on Wednesday, February 21st, 2024 from 12:00 pm – 3:30 pm (PST), for “Our Shared Vision: Leading Transformative Change in Health for BC First Nations.” This Indigenous Speaker Series session brought together a panel of senior political representatives working across the four pillars of BC First Nations Health governance: the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA), the First Nations Health Council (FNHC), the First Nations Health Directors Association (FNHDA), and the Tripartite Committee on First Nations Health (TCFNH). We had a conversation with Marion Colleen Erickson, Nak’azdli Whut’en, Board Chair, FNHA and Co-Chair, TCFNH; Keith Marshall, President, FNHDA; Richard Jock, Chief Executive Officer, FNHA and Wade Grant, Musqueam, First Nation Chair, FNHC. In this session, we learned about the work of these leaders across the four pillars of BC First Nations Health governance and how these pillars work towards a shared vision to support Healthy, Self-Determining, and Vibrant BC First Nations Children, Families, and Communities.

Join us virtually on Wednesday, February 21st, 2024 from 12:00 pm – 3:30 pm (PST), for “Our Shared Vision: Leading Transformative Change in Health for BC First Nations.” This virtual event is presented by the Indigenous Speakers Series

Panelists

Marion Colleen Erickson

Marion Colleen Erickson, MEd,
Nak’azdli Whut’en 
Board Chair, First Nations Health Authority;

Co-Chair, Tripartite Committee on First Nations Health

Marion Colleen Erickson is a Dakelh grandmother (Ut’soo) from the Nak’azdli community and a member of the Lasilyu (Frog) Clan. As an active community member participating in the balhats (potlatch) system, she firmly believes that cultural identity is the foundation of health and wellness, and is committed to improving the health and wellness of First Nations.

A former two-term Chief of Saik’uz First Nation, Colleen is a recognized community leader and a veteran member of the RCMP. She currently teaches part-time at her local college, with a primary focus on Aboriginal Studies.

Colleen holds a Master’s degree in Education, with a special focus on the traditional philosophies of Carrier teachings.

Presently serving as the FNHA Board chair, Colleen’s background includes various board positions within local government, the Elder society, and numerous appointments in school districts. She brings a wealth of negotiation, financial administration, mediation, and leadership skills to the FNHA board, along with extensive cultural and traditional knowledge.

Keith Marshall, MSW MPA (Health)

Keith Marshall, MSW MPA (Health),
Director, Community Health Programs, Hailika’as Heiltsuk Health Centre;
Heiltsuk Nation
President, First Nations Health Directors Association

Keith is of African Canadian/Caribbean descent from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Keith Marshall is the Director of Community Health Programs for the Hailika’as Heiltsuk Health Centre Society in Bella Bella. His primary role is to provide programs and services for the improvement of the health status of this community.

Keith holds a Master’s degree in social work and a Master’s degree in Public Administration specializing in health services. He recently completed his Graduate Diploma in Executive Coaching at Royal Roads University.

Keith is an experienced professional with over 30 years of experience working in Indigenous communities, focusing on promoting capacity building with community members and supporting them in charting their own course for being the catalyst for improving their health status. He provides the vision, managerial, and administrative leadership necessary to develop and implement health care programs and services that meet the health needs of the members of the Heiltsuk community in Bella Bella, BC.

Additionally, he has worked with federal, provincial, and private organizations in senior health, managerial, and administrative positions, including negotiating major contracts; facilitation and mediation skills with large organization in the national and provincial arenas; management of major programs including organizational and planning requirements; clinical case management; developing and implementing organizational; policy development, interpretation and implementation.

Keith currently serves as the President of the First Nations Health Directors Association Board of Directors. The First Nations Health Directors Association is part of a unique health governance structure that includes political representation and advocacy through the First Nations Health Council, and the planning, management, and delivery of health programs and services through the First Nations Health Authority. Collectively, this First Nations health governing structure works in partnership with BC First Nations to achieve our shared vision. Keith served on the committee responsible for the development of the British Columbia Cultural Safety and Humility Standard.

Richard Jock, Chief Executive Officer, First Nations Health Authority

Richard Jock, Chief Executive Officer, First Nations Health Authority

Richard Jock is a member of the Mohawks of Akwesasne and serves as the Chief Executive Officer for the First Nations Health Authority.

Richard’s portfolio includes Health Benefits, policy, planning, engagement, service improvements/integration, investment strategies and regional partnership implementation. His position also provides leadership for the building, functioning and implementation of strong partnerships within the First Nations health governance structure and within the health system more broadly.

Richard has worked for the past 25 years for First Nations organizations and the federal government, including numerous positions in the health field. Immediately prior to joining the FNHA, he held the post of Chief Executive Officer for the Assembly of First Nations (AFN). Among his other professional roles, Richard has held senior leadership positions at Norway House Health Services Incorporated, Health Canada, the National Aboriginal Health Organization and Mohawk Council of Akwesasne.

Richard is committed to his wellness and challenges himself to stay active and spend time outdoors. He wears his FitBit daily, rarely missing his 10,000 steps, and enjoys playing racquetball in his spare time.

Wade Grant,Chair, First Nations Health Council

Wade Grant,
Musqueam First Nation
Chair, First Nations Health Council

Wade Grant was first elected to the FNHC as a Vancouver Coastal Representative in June of 2019, and then appointed as Chair in September 2021. He is the Intergovernmental Officer for the Musqueam First Nation and serves as a board member for Covenant House Vancouver.

Previously, Wade spent three years with the BC provincial government as the special advisor to the Premier on Indigenous issues and held a number of roles including member of the Vancouver Police Board, band council member with the Musqueam Indian Band, assistant general manager of the Four Host Nations Aboriginal Pavilion during the 2010 Olympics, policy analyst for the BC Assembly of First Nations and as executive assistant to the Solicitor General of British Columbia.

Wade was recognized by Vancouver Magazine’s “Power 50” list in 2015 and 2013, and in 2012 he received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal for services to community. He lives on the Musqueam Indian Reserve and has two children.


Moderator

Derek Thompson

Derek K Thompson – Thlaapkiituup, Director, Indigenous Engagement


Description 

In 2013, BC First Nations worked together in unity and with an unwavering strength of mind and heart to establish the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA), and also established the First Nations Health Council (FNHC), the First Nations Health Directors Association (FNHDA), and the Tripartite Committee on First Nations Health (TCFNH). These four pillars collectively provide overall health governance on behalf of BC First Nations and work towards a shared vision to support Healthy, Self-Determining, and Vibrant BC First Nations Children, Families, and Communities.

The FNHA is part of a unique health governance structure that includes political representation and advocacy through the FNHC, and technical support and capacity development through the FNHDA. Together, this First Nations health governing structure works in partnership with BC First Nations to achieve our shared vision.

The upshot of this important shared vision is to ensure that BC First Nations have greater control over community wellness programs, primary care and related health services in an effort to improve the health status of the people in our communities, including those members living away from home.

This important and timely dialogue with the current senior political representatives of the FNHA/TCFNH, FNHC and the FNHDA will highlight the important work that’s taken place since 2013, and bring to light the work that is currently underway in the context of Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the In Plain Sight Report, and the BC Cultural Safety and Humility Standard.


Topic: Our Shared Vision: Leading Transformative Change in Health for BC First Nations

Date: Wednesday, February 21st, 2024

Time: 12:00 – 3:30 pm (PST)


What Will I Learn?

You will learn about the overall work of the FNHA, the FNHC, the FNHDA, and the TCFNH.


Continue Learning

“The time to make things happen is now. The time to seek out our individual and shared power is now.”

Learn more about REDI’s Indigenous Initiatives here

Discover more about REDI’s Indigenous Initiatives Speakers Series here

Find REDI’s Indigenous-Specific Resources here

Rez Rules: My Indictment of Canada’s and America’s Systemic Racism Against Indigenous Peoples

Join us virtually on Wednesday, March 13th, 2024 from 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm (PST), for “Rez Rules: My Indictment of Canada’s and America’s Systemic Racism Against Indigenous Peoples.” In this Indigenous Speakers Series session, we will have a conversation with Chief Clarence Louie, Osoyoos Indian Band and author of REZ RULES:  My Indictment of Canada’s and America’s Systemic Racism Against Indigenous Peoples. We will explore strategies for achieving both individual and shared independence and understand why we need each other in creating a better life for Indigenous peoples.

Rez Rules: My Indictment of Canada’s and America’s Systemic Racism Against Indigenous Peoples

Join us virtually on Wednesday, March 13th, 2024 from 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm (PST), for “Rez Rules: My Indictment of Canada’s and America’s Systemic Racism Against Indigenous Peoples.” This virtual event is presented by the Indigenous Speakers Series


Speaker Bio

Chief Clarence Louie, O.C., O.B.C., H/Lt.Col. (39 SR CAF), H/Ph.D. (Queen’s University & UBC), C.B.H.F, BC B.H.F, A.B.H.F, N.A.A.A.
Osoyoos Indian Band
Chair, Okanagan Nation Alliance

Author – Rez Rules:  My Indictment of Canada’s and America’s Systemic Racism Against Indigenous Peoples

Graduated from high school 1978. Attended the University of Regina, (Saskatchewan Indian Federated College) Native American Studies Program. Continued Native American Studies at the University of Lethbridge, from 1979 to 1982.

Since December 1984 when first elected as Chief of the Osoyoos Indian Band, part of the Okanagan Nation in south central British Columbia, Clarence Joseph Louie has consistently emphasized economic development as a means to improve his people’s standard of living. Under his direction (30+ years), the Band has become a multi- faceted corporation that owns and manages eleven businesses, 5 joint ventures and employs a thousand people. In 1998 the Osoyoos Indian Band Development Corporation was formed to manage and provide strategic direction to the existing businesses and as well as seek out new economic opportunities. Clarence was appointed C.E.O.

Other achievements under Chief Louie’s tenure include the negotiated settlement of three Specific Land Claims, the successful negotiation of over 1,000 acres of lease developments, the acquisition of hundreds of acres of land to add to the reserve, the purchase of a viable off-reserve business, the financing of a major golf course development, the initiation of the Osoyoos Indian Taxation By-law, the financing and building of a new pre- school/daycare and grade school/gymnasium, construction of a new Health Center/Social Services building and in 2008 the building of a 1st class Youth Centre.

The Osoyoos Indian Band has modeled not only sustainable business development, but also socio-economic development, whereby the community’s social needs are improved. Chief Louie’s constant message is, “Socio- economic development is the foundation for First Nation self-reliance, our communities need to become business minded and begin to create their own jobs and revenue sources, not just administer underfunded government programs. Each of our First Nations must take back their inherent and rightful place in the economy of their territory. Native people must change their mindset from; Spending Money To Making Money”.

As confirmation of the Osoyoos Indian Band’s commitment to business, and social economic development the Band owns and operates a diversity of businesses on the reserve, including: vineyards, retail stores, a Readi-Mix company, a championship golf course, eco-tourism businesses and activities in the Forestry. In 2002 the Band opened the first Aboriginal winery in North America-Nk’Mip Cellars. The winery is a joint venture with Arterra Canada.

Although economic development is the means to achieving self-sufficiency, Chief and Council continues to emphasize the importance of maintaining the Okanagan language and culture in all aspects of the band’s activities including business. The establishment of the Nk’Mip Desert& Cultural Center is a testament to this commitment of balancing business while investing time and money in culture. This eco-cultural center provides visitors an opportunity to experience the Okanagan culture and explore the desert lands that are a part of their traditional territory. The Nk’Mip Desert & Cultural Center is also an example of the continued growth of the band’s businesses.

Chief Louie believes that job creation and increasing business revenue in a responsible manner will bring back what he describes as, “our First Nation working culture, the self-supporting lifestyle of our ancestors.” And further, First Nation leaders have a responsibility to incorporate First Nation’s language and culture in all socio- economic initiatives as the means to improve and protect your First Nation’s heritage. In 2002, Chief Louie played a key role in the successful negotiations to return a sacred cultural site, “Spotted Lake,” to the Okanagan Nation. Chief Louie’s efforts have been widely recognized in Canada and the United states.

  • In 1999, he received the Aboriginal Business Leader Award from All Nations Trust and Development Corporation.
  • In 2000, the Advancement of Native Development officers (CANDO) named Chief Louie the “Economic Developer of the Year”
  • In the same year Clarence was chosen to join the Governor General of Canada in the 2000 leadership tour.
  • In 2001 Chief Louie was appointed to the Aboriginal Business Canada Board and in 2007 was appointed asChair of the Board.
  • In 2002- Aboriginal Tourism B.C. awarded Chief Louie the “Inspirational Leadership Award.”
  • Maclean’s Magazine listed Chief Clarence Louie as one of the “Top 50 Canadians to Watch” in their January 2003 issue.
  • More recognition came in 2003 as the U.S. Department of State selected Clarence as 1 of 6 First Nation representatives to participate in a 2-week tour of successful American Indian Tribes.
  • In April 2004 the Aboriginal Achievement Foundation presented Clarence with the award for “Business and Community Development.” The National Achievement Awards represent the highest honor the Aboriginal Community bestows upon its own achievers.
  • Past committee member B.C. Region Indian Affairs (Forestry and Economic Development)
  • First Nation Boards – Denendeh Investments (Yellowknife – 2007), Stsailes Dev. Corp. (Chilliwack – 2009)
  • 2006 – Order of British Columbia
  • 2008 – Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year
  • 2011 – Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business – Aboriginal Business Hall of Fame
  • 2015 – Destination B.C. Board of Directors
  • 2015 – B.C. Provincial Health Services Authority Board of Directors
  • 2016 – Order of Canada
  • 2018 – Canadian Business Hall of Fame
  • 2019 – B.C. Business Hall of Fame
  • 2019 – Vancouver Fraser Port Authority (Federal Board)
  • 2020 – Okanagan Nation Alliance Tribal Chair
  • 2021 – B.C. Hydro Board
  • 2021 – Honorary Doctorate Degree, University of B.C.
  • 2021 – Book Author “Rez Rules”
  • 2022 – Honorary Doctorate Degree, Queens University (Kingston Ontario)
  • 2023 – Honorary Lieutenant Colonel, 39 Signal Regiment Canadian Armed Forces

A lifelong student of “Native American Studies”, Clarence shares his experiences (Key Note Speaking) and best lessons learned to Native people, Government and Corporate agencies across the U.S and Canada as well as overseas – Australia, New Zealand, Germany and France, in a simple direct business smarts approach, “Every First Nation comes from a working culture. Our ancestors worked hard for a living. Today life is as complicated or messed up as you make it. To improve your quality of life, you either go to school or get a job. Words without action, excuses and blame, leads towards more welfare dependency and poverty. It’s hard work and making money that improves one’s standard of living and provides for First Nation social needs.”Chief Louie believes that “Aboriginal people and government must make Economic Development – self-sustaining job creation and business growth an everyday priority. A real decent paying job that provides real opportunity is the very best social program on any Rez!”
The Osoyoos Indian Band’s corporate motto is “In Business To Preserve Our Past By Strengthening Our Future.”


Moderator

Derek Thompson

Derek K Thompson – Thlaapkiituup, Director, Indigenous Engagement


Description 

Written by Derek K Thompson – Thlaapkiituup

I have consistently stated that Indigenous peoples are likely the only segment of Canadian society that is simultaneously coming to terms with the historic past and trying to build a way forward. Many Indigenous peoples grapple with a balance of tensions between identity and language as well as career and prosperity, and many still are disadvantaged with a lack of resources and capacity to improve their lives. We live in an interesting time of telling our many truths, reconciling for a better future, and creating a just redress all in an effort to create a better life for ourselves, for our children and for our grandchildren. We can create a way forward, a plan for today and tomorrow, and a rulebook that outlines a path to a better and successful life.

Chief Clarence Louie offers a path forward in his remarkable book, REZ RULES:  My Indictment of Canada’s and America’s Systemic Racism Against Indigenous Peoples. Chief Louie offers a thoughtful, honest, direct, and doable way to achieve individual and shared independence. He also offers a personal and intimate telling of his life in politics, and an authentic leadership that is indicative of including those that continue to support him. There’s a message that becomes abundantly clear in his rulebook, and that is, we need each other to create a better life for our people.

Indigenous peoples also need truth, reconciliation and redress to work, and this means that non-Indigenous Canadians need to be a part of the solution, a part of the rulebook, and a part of the processes to bring about transformative change in this country that has created an abundance of wealth, prosperity and independence. Please join me for this important, timely and relevant conversation with Chief Clarence Louie.


Topic: REZ RULES:  My Indictment of Canada’s and America’s Systemic Racism Against Indigenous Peoples

Date: Wednesday, March 13th, 2024

Time: 12:00 – 1:30 pm (PST)


What Will I Learn?

You will learn about a unique perspective from a BC First Nations Chief of what it means to come to terms with each other in the context of truth, reconciliation and redress.


Continue Learning

“The time to make things happen is now. The time to seek out our individual and shared power is now.”

Learn more about REDI’s Indigenous Initiatives here

Discover more about REDI’s Indigenous Initiatives Speakers Series here

Find REDI’s Indigenous-Specific Resources here

Happy Lunar New Year

Women’s Memorial March (Feb 14): Honouring the lives of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

Women's Memorial March

The First Nations House of Learning and the Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Office are collaborating to provide resources, supports and transportation on Wednesday, February 14th to those who want to attend and/or honor the day’s events for the Women’s Memorial March. The march is an inclusive event for people, of all genders, to gather and hold space with one another. Everyone is welcome to attend the march and to bring guests on the bus as support. The bus has a capacity of 50 people and will be available on a first come, first serve basis. For those who don’t attend the march, the Longhouse will be hosting an art and community drop in for the Indigenous community.

Wednesday, Feb 14th

  • 9am: Coffee, snacks and medicine bundle making in the Great Hall
  • 10am: Smudge and drumming in the Sacred Circle (behind the Longhouse). Students, staff and faculty are welcome to bring drums and share a song.
  • 11am: Transportation to the march, leaving from the UBC First Nations Longhouse. Transportation back to campus will also be provided.
  • 11:30am: Drop off downtown on Carrall St. Coffee, tea, snacks, washrooms and supports will be available at the UBC Learning Exchange for attendees throughout the day.
  • 3:00pm: Bus will be leaving downtown and driving back to campus.

For those not attending the march:

  • 12 – 2pm: Art and Community drop in at the Longhouse

Note: Staff from UBC Counselling Services will be available at the Learning Exchange for students throughout the event.

Register for transportation here

If you have any questions you can contact Olivia Reynolds, Indigenous Educator at the Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Office, olivia.reynolds@ubc.ca